What is exceptional about book fairs is that when you miraculously find that long sought-for book, you can get noisy and excited about it. You run up to your fellow hunter-gatherers and share your kills in earnest, as opposed to libraries where the only acceptable volume is a hushed whisper. The YMCA Book Fair began in 1978 as a one-day affair, but is now a roaring, six-day celebration of bargain books, running from Friday through Wednesday (August 19 to 24) at the Kennedy Recreation Center (6050 Wells Road; 314-353-4960 or www.ymcabookfair.org). Key dates for booklovers include the Friday Preview Night ($10 admission), Tuesday's "half-price day" and the "$10-for-a-bag-or-box-day" on Wednesday. Admission is free after preview night, and hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for Friday (4 to 10 p.m.).
Aug. 19-24, 2011